Night of the Naked Dead!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Spec Script Versus Shooting Script

Speculative scripts, also known as Spec Scripts, are written for commercial reasons. The main intent of a screenwriter creating this type of script is to sell to film production houses and/or to land a coveted television writing job. Shooting scripts are used to guide directors; they are prepared by production staff as a tool to shoot films. 

Write Spec Scripts as your calling card to possibly connect with film executives, to apply for writing fellowships (Disney/ABC) and/or to chase after a chance to write on television. It really takes some major effort on your part to employ your Spec Script and create interest. 

Aspiring screenwriters can lose sight of the Spec Script, using and/or overusing directions to impress film studios. It is not up to the screenwriter to include these directions in screenplays, unless the script writer is the director and they understand the focus of this script. Do yourself justice; leave out these directions and focus on telling your story. 

However, writing a compelling story is the best mode of operation to craft a great script. Tell your story using the right script format. Don't focus all your energy on making the script format perfect. Do realize your script must be formatted and packed together following industry standards.

A Spec Script is written to sell and/or to get a job. A shooting script is prepared once it is optioned and ready to begin production. All directions, numbers, and scene selection in shooting scripts are guides so the director, assistants, script supervisor and other production members can stay organized.

According to David Trottier in his The Screenwriter's Bible, "The main reason you write a spec script is to tell an interesting story" (p. 104). Essentially, write to tell instead of writing to impress.

Good luck writing the next awesome film!


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